Digital transactions soar in PH as Pinoys turn to e-payment amid Covid-19 crisis

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​The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said digital transactions in the country continues to rise with the public turning to electronic payment facilities to carry out financial transactions safely amid the health crisis.

BSP governor Benjamin Diokno (right) and deputy governor Mamerto Tangonan (left) try out the PayMaya-enabled QR PH code for merchants using the AUB and China bank mobile apps (Photo from PayMaya)

Combined PesoNet and InstaPay transactions in April this year were higher by 276 percent in volume and 127 percent in value, compared to the figures recorded during the same month in 2020.

The PesoNet and InstaPay are two automated clearing houses under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS). PesoNet is a batch electronic fund transfer (EFT) which can be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper-based check system while the InstaPay is a real-time, low-value EFT for transaction amounting up to P50,000 and is useful for e-commerce.

Furthermore, the volume and value of QR PH person-to-person (P2P) payments in April this year increased by 23 percent and 38 percent, respectively, compared to the figure posted a month earlier.

The BSP said a turning point in the country’s digital transformation journey is the National QR Code Standard or QR PH, which leverages on the efficiency and affordability of the QR technology.

The BSP also revealed that 82 BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs) were participating in PesoNet and 52 in InstaPay as of end-April 2021.

“The data are encouraging. These indicate the sustained adoption of digital payments in the country. The preference of consumers for safety in their financial transactions, coupled with the readiness of the BSFIs to offer digital payment choices that are safe, convenient, and affordable will continue to support the widespread use of digital payments,” the BSP explained.

With over a year into the pandemic, the BSP said that financial consumers are adapting to the use of technology for their financial transactions.

“New adopters have experienced first-hand the advantages of going digital. Their positive experiences are expected to create a ripple effect and to promote the wider use of digital payments,” the central bank added.

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